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Old 04-21-2012, 04:48 AM   #1
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Default Air bubbles in the auto-siphon

When I'm racking I notice a lot of air bubbles in the tubing when I use my auto-siphon. I do what I can to mitigate their presence but they often persist in what seems to me to be fairly great (and persistent) quantity. Does this air pose any threat to the beer with which it's coming into contact? Any hints or tips on how to avoid getting bubbles in the tubing to begin with or what to do once they manifest?

Thanks!

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Old 04-21-2012, 04:52 AM   #2
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This is sometimes caused by poorly fitting tubing. You can try clamping the hose onto the siphon.

It can also be caused by not starting off with a strong enough flow. I usually give mine a half pump to 'prime' the siphon, then a full pump to completely fill the tubing.

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Old 04-21-2012, 12:14 PM   #3
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Sometimes I'll just pinch the tubing up where it's connected to the autosiphon to let some liquid build up at the top and it will eliminate the airspace turbulence as well.

Also, I've noticed that sometimes, when you're not clipping the autosiphon so it stands straight up, that the angle & weight causes the autosiphon to not completely seal and cause air intake into the beer stream. (You'll hear it, probably). So for that, I'll usually use some siphoned liquid, put that into a sterilized glass and pour this into the top of the autosiphon.

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Old 04-21-2012, 12:22 PM   #4
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If you have a tight seal between the tubing and the cane part of the siphon you should only have air until the flow gets started. IMO that amount is inconsequential. After that if you still have bubbling it is probably co2 in the beer coming out of suspension. Also of no concern.

If you do have an air leak, a new piece of tubing of the correct size or a hose clamp should solve the problem.

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Old 04-21-2012, 09:35 PM   #5
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I found a crack in the siphon. It was super small but certainly big enough to let air in. I'm sure it's from the auto-siphon clamp since my last auto-siphon had the same problem. I'll replace it and see if that solves the problem. Thanks for the tips!

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Old 04-21-2012, 10:17 PM   #6
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Rather than using a hose clamp with vinyl tubing, I use silicone tubing. I have the large (1/2 inch) autosiphon, so I use 3/8 I.D. silicone tubing. It's easy to get on and off the autosiphon, forms an airtight seal without a clamp, and can be sanitized by boiling. I'm not sure if the 3/8 I.D. tubing would work with the smaller diameter autosiphons, or if silicone tubing is readily available in smaller diameters.

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Old 04-21-2012, 10:29 PM   #7
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A trick I use for a bubbling auto-siphon is to pour some of whatever you are transferring between the outer and inner tubes of the siphon. It's never failed me.

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Old 04-22-2012, 12:21 AM   #8
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Are you racking from primary to secondary? It could be CO2 coming out of solution. I usually get some small bubbles in the tubing after fermentation during racking to the secondary, bottling bucket, or keg.

If it is the wort prior to fermentation then you definitely have an air leak.

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Old 04-23-2012, 02:37 AM   #9
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I had a similar problem with air bubbles in the siphon tube after about a dozen uses. I cut an inch off the end of the auto siphon tube to renew the tight fit. Sanitizer may harden the tubing over time resulting in a slightly oval shape.

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Old 04-24-2012, 12:20 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by daddyo View Post
A trick I use for a bubbling auto-siphon is to pour some of whatever you are transferring between the outer and inner tubes of the siphon. It's never failed me.
I do this, but just use some sanitizer.
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